The British Trust for Ornithology has created a Gift Pack that enables you to give a subscription for the rewarding BTO/CJ Garden BirdWatch to family or friends.
The BTO/CJ Garden Birdwatch
is one of the most important ongoing surveys of British birds and, of course, is particularly relevant to wildlife gardeners. I have described the survey in the feature article Counting garden birds
. The survey is unusual and a number of respects, not least of all because it is largely self funding: the £12 annual subscription fee pays for the administration of the survey.
Garden great tit.
By presenting someone with a membership gift pack for this survey you will give them the chance to take their hobby an important step further; allowing them to make a genuine contribution to the understanding and conservation of birds in Britain. Taking part is simple and does not involve a lot of work. For most species of birds, all that is required each week is a tick in a box to indicate whether or not it was seen in the garden! For the 10 most common species, a weekly count of the maximum number seen together at any one time is entered. People with access to the internet can enter results online if they want to. Otherwise the results can be entered onto forms which are sent to participants four times a year.
Participants also receive the exclusive quarterly magazine 'Bird Table' - a copy of which also comes with the gift pack. This colour magazine is packed with information and pictures of interest to the garden birdwatcher. The issue which came with the gift pack that I reviewed also had an excellent feature on summer garden plants for birds and another on the comma butterfly (Polygonia c-album
). The gift pack also contains the book The BTO/CJ Garden Birdwatch Book
which is an excellently produced book packed with information of interest to anyone who has ever wondered about the ecology of the birds which visit their garden.
The gift packs (nicely presented in a glossy folder) are available direct from the Garden BirdWatch Team: Garden Birdwatch, The Nunnery, Thetford, IP24 2PU
(Tel. 01842 750050). The cost is £12 including postage and packing.
Mike Toms, Garden Birdwath Organiser, BTO Thetford. 2004. Private correspondence.